This is my first official book review... so bear with me. I only hope I am able to do the book justice and some how encourage you to pick it up and read it. Trust me it will not be wasted time.
I finally finished reading Living in Love by James & Betty Robison. I say "finally" because it was so full of wonderful information that I would stop and take notes, then read over it again, and then stop again and take time to reflect on what I had read and evaluate where I was in light of what I had just learned. If you could see my copy, you would see that it is full of post-it notes marking things I want to go back over and over again.
This book was full of practical counsel. It was also full of hope. There was truth in every page. James and Betty openly shared their hearts. They shared where they had struggled in their marriage and where and how they began walking in victory.
The book is an easy read (an excerpt). It is broken up into manageable sections and chapters. Even someone who is not particularly found of reading would be able to make it through this book. The book is written in such a personal tone that I felt that I was sitting there talking with James and Betty instead of simply reading a book. At the end of each chapter is a few questions to hopefully kick-start you in the personal evaluation and application process, but for me it was easy to begin the evaluating as I read because of the way the book was so practically and conversationally written.
I would go so far as to recommend that every married couple and every couple engaged to be married by two copies and two hi-liters. Then both read through it and hi-lite the things that spoke to their own heart. Then trade books and see what the other saw as important and sit down and talk about the why's. But don't take just my word, there are videos and another sneak peak into the pages of Living in Love to encourage you even further to seek out the benefits of reading this book.
I would give my hind-tooth to have been at a place in my life to have read this book before I ever entered into my marriage. I cannot even begin to imagine the struggles and hurts that could have been diverted or at the very least lessened and shortened had I known the information that is in this book beforehand. However, I can start today to apply what I have learned to the life of my marriage. One of my favorite quotes in the book, "No pit is too deep or too dark that God cannot rescue you from it, if you're willing." No matter where you think you are in your marriage God can use this book to reach you where you are and build up and strengthen your marriage.
I must share a word of caution to any married person who reads this book, please remember that James and Betty have been on this journey for many years. I have walked the marriage journey only a short twelve years. I can't compare my marriage to theirs. I can't compare my spouse to them. I can't read this book in a spirit that only marks where I see my spouse has failed or is failing. I have to read this book in a spirit that is focused on me and God. Allowing God to show me where I need work, where I need change, then trust God to move in my marriage. It is after all His design. He more than anyone wants to see us living in love.